Welcome to this very special series highlight post, where I will re-introduce (and in some cases, introduce for the first time) you all to the Slug Pie series of books. Readers with particularly good memories will recall that the Maniacal Book Club reviewed the second book in the Slug Pie Stories, How To Rid Your Swimming Pool of a Bloodthirsty Mermaid, late last year, and we immediately popped the other two books in the series on our TBR list to hunt down at a later date. In a joyous bit of good luck, the publishers of the Slug Pie series (by 12-year-old author Mick Bogerman, you will recall) contacted the shelf in the hope that we would review the other two books in the series – callooh, callay! Of course we agreed, as much for the excitement of reading Mick’s other adventures as for the satisfaction of knocking two more titles off Mount TBR…
The publisher has even been so generous as to offer a GIVEAWAY of ONE of the Mick’s adventures to a lucky reader of this blog. To enter the giveaway, click on the rafflecopter just below this sentence!
Now, let’s hunker down in our anti-monster panic room and venture into the world of Mick Bogerman’s Slug Pie Stories…
Book 1: How to Navigate Zombie Cave and Defeat Pirate Pete
Armed with a pitchfork, miner’s hat, and map, Mick Bogerman dares to hunt for pirate treasure in Zombie Cave. His little brother Finley is tied up at the beach. Literally–Mick tied him up. No one needs a little brother tagging along when you’re going to slay the undead. But Mick soon wishes he’d taken some human company with him, because lurking in every corner, reaching from every crevice, is another hungry corpse. No wonder the place is named Zombie Cave! And finding treasure in the twisty tunnels is a lot harder when your map disintegrates. And man-oh-man the cold, dark tide chases fast. But the worst part about fighting off ravenous flesh-eaters is the one monster deadlier than a regular zombie . . . the worst of the worst . . . Pirate Pete
Having read the second book in the series first, I had an idea of what to expect with this little sojourn into zombie territory. In this book the reader is plunged straight into the action as Mick ties up his little brother Finley in a (supposedly) safe place on the pretence of playing a cowboy game and heads off with an ill-gotten antique map to retrieve Pirate Pete’s ancient treasure. The descriptive and engaging style is immediately at play here, drawing the reader in as Mick attempts to navigate through confined, poorly lit spaces while fending off Nike-wearing zombies and making the acquaintance of one very unlucky gentleman named Harold. You’d think a pitchfork would be quite useful in such a venture, but you’d only be partially right. This story was a lot more monologue-y than the second in the series, on account of Mick undertaking this adventure mostly on his own, but Mick’s indomitable spirit and drily humorous approach is apparent from the get-go and there is blood-splatting, bone-crunching and internal-organ-squishing fun aplenty for the middle-grade reader with an appetite for such things. Special mention goes to a zombie (or possibly just aged) parrot for comic relief in dire circumstances.
Book 2: How to Rid Your Swimming Pool of a Bloodthirsty Mermaid
From Slug Pie Stories:
All Mick Bogerman wanted to do was teach his little brother how to swim in the coolest swimming pool in town. He didn’t ask to take care of a bunch of Sea-Monkeys while he was there. He certainly didn’t mean to morph one of them into a mermaid by feeding it genetically enhanced super food. No one is more surprised than Mick when the creature starts luring unsuspecting adults into the deep end of the pool. Adults who don’t resurface. Join Mick as he battles a powerful adversary: a bloodthirsty mermaid who hypnotizes with a golden gaze, shatters glass with a piercing shriek, and reveals her true menacing self by the light of a full moon.
Seeing as I’ve already devoted a whole review to this book, I won’t say too much here but you can read the original review at this link. Looking back on this book in the context of having read all three in the series, I’d say this one has the greatest amount of chuckleworthy moments and the inclusion of PJ to the Boogerman brothers’ fighting team added an extra dimension to the story. Allow me to sum up with Mad Martha’s poetic take on the book:
Let us all heed advice from our mothers
We should not judge the books by their covers
For like Disney’s she ain’t
This Mer-lass needs restraint
As with flesh-ripping death you’ll discover
Book 3: How to Destroy the New Girl’s Killer Robot Army
From Slug Pie Stories:
When Savannah “Van Demon” Diamond comes to town she ruins everything for Mick. She takes over his favorite hang out, outruns him in gym class, and worst of the worst—his little brother has a crush on her. Devising a plan to get her kicked out of school and moved out of Beachwood is simple. Dealing with Savannah’s mind-blowing revenge is Mick’s most challenging adventure yet. Join Mick as he thwarts insidious traps and deadly weaponry, fighting against the most cunning of enemies. Catastrophe looms for all of Beachwood unless Mick can put aside his pride, join forces with his rival, and destroy the new girl’s killer robot army.
Apart from having (in my opinion) the most strikingly beautiful cover of the three, this book takes a slightly different turn as more characters enter the fray and Mick is forced to deal with not only his own poor behaviour, but an entirely non-organic fear-inducing monster. The reader gets to find out a bit more about Mick’s school in this one and there’s a definite sense of menace as the monsters in this story break into the Boogerman sanctuary. Special mention here go to Bagel Boy (who, in case you are wondering, is not a boy at all) and the inclusion of a female super-villain so Mick can pick on someone his own size.
After having read all three of the available titles in this series, I have to say that I’m hooked. I’ve sectioned off a special place in my stony heart for the Boogerman brothers and I will definitely be seeking out their next adventures. The only thing that could make this series better would be chapter heading illustrations. Or just randomly inserted illustrations. Those covers are so good, the illustrator deserves to be set free on the inside of the books as well, I reckon.
Before we jump into an exclusive interview with Mick himself (squee!), to find out more about the books, the author, the characters, the creator of those brilliant covers and to have a say in Mick’s next adventure, go have a look at the Slug Pie Stories website here.
Now to find out more about the intriguing young author of these intriguing young stories!
So, Mick, you’ve already published three heart-pounding and informative guides to overcoming various monstrosities in our midst. Do you plan to continue your work in the adventure/monster-vanquishing guidebook industry?
Thanks Bruce! You bet I’ll keep writing about monsters. I just started working on the 4th Slug Pie Story: How to Protect Your Neighborhood from Circus Werewolves. The title of the next book was chosen by readers over at the website www.slugpiestories.com. It was pretty much an even vote between Circus Werewolves and How to Obliterate a Spirit-Possessed Lawnmower, and then at the last minute Circus Werewolves pulled ahead. The book’s going to have a lot of fun and a lot of scare. Clowns are terrifying all by themselves if you know what I mean. Then making them Werewolves? You’re gonna want to know how to protect yourself from these creatures!
The monsters that you’ve beaten so far have been quite dangerous. Are there any monsters that you wouldn’t want to encounter?
I think me and my brother Finley are up for just about anything. And my friends are a great help too. Our town seems to be a magnet for monsters, so it’s going to be up to us kids to take care of things. The trick is knowing everything you can about your adversary so you’re prepared. That’s why I always include a preparation list at the back of my books. Now girls are a whole ‘nother story. They’re not exactly monsters, but they can be a little scary, and I sure haven’t figured them out.
What advice would you give to any youngsters planning on seeking out adventure in their own neighbourhoods?
Well if you keep your imagination wide open you don’t have to seek out adventure, it will come find you. When it does, keep your cool and don’t panic. Gather your resources and your friends. You never want to go it alone. I learned that lesson in Zombie Cave!
If the books end up being super successful, do you see a TV series in the works? Could you imagine yourself filming educational documentaries in the vein of The Crocodile Hunter, for instance?
That would be EPIC! Who do I talk to to make that happen?
If you could only take three things with you to defend yourself against an unknown monster, what would you choose and why?
Only three? Now that’s a tough call. First thing would have to be my brother Finley. He’s really learned how to handle himself and he’s always got my back. He finally learned how to swim too, which is uber handy when you live by the ocean. Second would have to be a Swiss Army knife. The things got all kinds of useful tiny tools all tucked inside a sturdy little case. I take mine everywhere. And third? Hmmmmm. Maybe something to eat? Like a bag of Skittles or candy bar or something. If Finley and I didn’t eat it, maybe the monster would want it. You know. Instead of eating us.
Will any of your books feature gargoyles in the future, in either a heroic or villainous capacity?
Actually I do have a story with gargoyles in my brain right now. It’s called How to Rescue Your Teacher from Rampaging Gargoyles. The gargoyles are definitely the villians, but the best villains have some positive qualities too. Sometimes the villain is just misunderstood. Voting for Slug Pie Story #5 is going on right now at http://www.slugpiestories.com/vote-for-our-next-story.html if you want to cast a vote for Gargoyles.
YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST PEOPLE!! Get on over to that link and vote for Gargoyles to appear in Mick’s next-but-one adventure!
Until next time,